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Moorcock & Religion ?

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  • #16
    I have trouble with the term "supernatural" I do think that there are one or more god-like powers in the multiverse (boy does it seem odd using that word here, but it's the only one that fits) but there is nothing particularly unnatural about this.

    I think the universe we live in is itself the God we are referring to most of the time, and that somehow for reasons we don't understand (I won't say can't possibly understand because science exists to figure this stuff out) it does actually infrequently intervene in human history. But that's veeeery infrequently.
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    • #17
      I'm "on the fence" when it comes to the supernatural, too. I consider myself agnostic -- or possibly a Deist -- and have a strong grounding in science. I was raised Catholic, but due to my science and SF reading, I went to my dad at around age 13 and asked to be excused from Sunday school...and presented my scientific "reasoning" behind the request (probably some sort of riff on Occam's Razor). To his credit, my dad agreed (or at least respected my reasoning) and exempted me from Sunday school thereafter (but not church :) ).

      I've been leery of supernatural claims (and all the usual paranormal topics, like UFOs, etc.) ever since. And yet.....

      ...I have friends whose frank acknowledgement of some aspects of the supernatural -- specifically Reiki and chaos magick -- I must respect, just as I respect their apparent veracity and certainty. I'm not so conceited to think I know how the universe (or multiverse) operates; the fact that these manifestations or powers don't seem to work for me doesn't mean they can't exist. I'll just remain an open-minded skeptic. :D

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      • #18
        My opinion is that Religion (any brand) is PURE BULLSHIT!

        I prefer to be Free in Mind and Body: thinking for myself, determining for myself what is Right and Wrong, living life the way I choose.

        If someone wishes to worship their chosen deity, that's their Right (their problem!) As long as they don't force it on me, or on anyone else, for that matter.

        As for the supernatural/paranormal/X-Files-ish stuff/U.F.Os/Bigfoot/Nessie/Abumble Snow Critters: I don't actually believe in them/it (I'd have to see it for myself and know it isn't faked) but I do believe it's possible. The Real World is stranger that T.V.!
        Madness is always the best armor against Reality

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Pellaz
          I was raised Catholic, but due to my science and SF reading, I went to my dad at around age 13 and asked to be excused from Sunday school...and presented my scientific "reasoning" behind the request (probably some sort of riff on Occam's Razor). To his credit, my dad agreed (or at least respected my reasoning) and exempted me from Sunday school thereafter (but not church :) ). :D
          Of course he might have been "protecting" the other children from hearing your reasoning there...
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          • #20
            Catholic by birth but not in practice. why?

            During CCD classes (to receive the sacrament of Confirmation) something happened. i had read the bible in its entirety (on my own) and realized SOMETHING ain't right here. i did not believe that there is only ONE "holy catholic and apostolic church," a line i would have to say with truth on my lips at confirmation. something in me said there is more to it than this, and i could not stand there and lie and say "I believe this." no way. so i did not attend my confirmation and my parents didn't even know i missed the darned thing they were so wrapped up in their own problems.

            ANYWAY! i do believe in a god out there, and his name is Yahweh (or Jehovah) whatever you like. i believe he wants us to practice peace. to do unto others, etc. but as for the organized religion aspect... not for me, thank you. i even studied with the Jehovah Witnesses for a seven months, i've researched and delved and considered learning greek and latin just to get to the heart of the documents. i've learned about Islam and Cathars and MANY religions, sects, cults, etc. that i could get my hands on, but you know? i'm just going to follow my heart.

            PS: i love the X-Files. ;)

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            • #21
              Can't really put a name on what I believe, exactly, but as best I can describe it, I'd say I'm a Buddhist who believes in God.

              I despise the organisation of religion; it inevitably defeats the purpose, in my view. Religion is a personal thing, I think, that each person must determine on their own based on their experiences. Having a belief system shoved down your throat from an early age, having holy books interpreted for you instead of being alowed to come to your own conclusions, and having guilt presented as an unavoidable component of life, all serve to lead one away from religion's true purpose: spiritual enlightenment.
              "Wounds are all I'm made of. Did I hear you say that this is victory?"
              --Michael Moorcock, Veteran of the Psychic Wars

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              • #22
                I've said this many times elsewhere --
                By definition organised religion ceases to become religion and becomes politics.
                It isn't a modern phenomenon! :)

                Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
                The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
                Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


                Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
                The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
                Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

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                • #23
                  Ah, what the heck... I have a rum & diet cola in me, I might as well have a rant... :)

                  I was raised as a Christian, attending Church of England schools until I was 16. We had compulsory Religious Education, which is possibly the least inspiring way to get young people fired up about religion that could ever be devised. When faith becomes religion, as Mr M (and a certain Mr K) has said, it can only ever lead to politics... when faith becomes a text book, from which you have to copy page after tedious page, it can only ever lead to boredom. Of course my school had its share of scandals (we were in the national tabloids on several ocassions!), but the teachers involved were not especially religious, so I didn't really have a "eureka" moment concerning religious hypocrisy as some have. I did have a series of "friends" who would inform me that I was going to Hell for not attending church, which put me off it all a bit though!

                  I remember in my mock (practice) exam for RE, I wrote some of the most juvenile and blasphemous answers I could think of. I don't really think I was trying to rebel as such... I can't really explain what happened. I was sent to the Deputy Headmaster's office, and told off, and at the time I was deeply ashamed of what I'd done... looking back it's one of the few things I did at school that I'm actually a little bit proud of. I've always had a tendency to keep my head down where authority figures are concerned, so it's nice to know I managed to do something that annoyed the grown-ups once upon a time!

                  I can't ever recall having much faith to begin with, although I was always scared (and still am to some extent) of an invisible pair of eyes watching me and judging me wherever I went. I'm not sure if I'll ever shake the whole "damnation" trip completely, although I live a fairly quiet and "sin" free life. Obviously going to college and university helped to "corrupt" my small-town, WASP-y thinking a little, and I try to maintain a healthy curiosity about new ideas... well, "new" to me anyway. I still have a lot of catching up to do.

                  Ultimately, I'm still quite concerned about where I'll go after I die, because so many people have predicted my doom in the afterlife. I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to shake that off, so I have a certain amount of resentment towards the C of E. I would never try to tell someone else what they should believe, because that isn't my idea of fun. I'm still basically a "recovering Christian", but hopefully if I keep reading and mulling things over, I'll be able to flush it out of my system eventually. Finding out about Existentialism helped quite a bit, as did "discovering" Taoism (although I have no interest in submerging myself completely in any philosophy). The next "ism" on my list is Hedonism. :)

                  Whatever your beliefs, I heartily recommend meditation and long walks in the countryside. Ooh, and bagels, obviously... and Buffy.

                  Er... rant over.
                  "That which does not kill us, makes us stranger." - Trevor Goodchild

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                  • #24
                    The Devil made me double-post!
                    "That which does not kill us, makes us stranger." - Trevor Goodchild

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                    • #25
                      I suppose it's logical to be scared of an after-life -- if it's run by the kind of God we've been educated to believe in. Otherwise, I'd guess no superbeing is likely to judge us according to which sect we belong to nor judge us, indeed, by anything but our actions.

                      Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
                      The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
                      Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


                      Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
                      The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
                      Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

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                      • #26
                        And maybe our good looks. Aint never no ugly people in Heaven!
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                        • #27
                          Mr. Moorcock's remarks are, I think, to the point. They're also curiously reminiscent of one of the logical/ethical refutations of that notoriously spurious proposition known as Pascal's Wager.

                          Bravo.

                          LSN

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                          • #28
                            Bravo to you, LSN, for once again providing a fascinating topic that will take me some days to research (Pensأ©es). :) I've not heard of "Pascal's Wager" before, but its primary idea -- whether belief or nonbelief is more worth the risk of error -- I've thought a lot about. It's sort of like using religion as 'fire insurance,' isn't it?

                            Certainly with the way the tortures of Hell have been described (from the writings of Dante to the art of Bosch), it's not surprising, as MM said, to be afraid of the afterlife. And what a great point about the God Christians been educated to believe in. Brings the following Voltaire quote to mind:

                            "God is a comedian performing for an audience that is afraid to laugh."
                            "Wounds are all I'm made of. Did I hear you say that this is victory?"
                            --Michael Moorcock, Veteran of the Psychic Wars

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                            • #29
                              With due respect I refer you to A Slow Saturday Night at the Surrealist Sporting Club which I think is available at either Fantastic Metropolis or Revolution SF!

                              Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
                              The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
                              Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


                              Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
                              The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
                              Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Most conversations on the afterlife remind me of Marx's idea of religion as the opiate of the masses. I think he was on to something, both as a commentary on people erroneously focusing on the afterlife instead of this life, and the ways in which religion becomes social control.

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